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The humble spud is still a regular feature in the Irish shopping basket, SuperValu estimate it will sell over €24,000,000 of Irish potatoes in 2011.

According to SuperValu, the potato is still part of the regular diet for most Irish people and the traditional dinner of potato, vegetables and meat continues to be the number one choice even in these recessionary times. To ensure Irish families can continue to enjoy the best potatoes in the world, Irish farmers are currently harvesting the first of the new season Irish potato crop across counties Wexford and Cork, which will be available in all 192 SuperValu stores throughout the country from this week.

Approximately 20,000 tonnes of potatoes are sourced annually from growers in Dublin, Cork, Meath, Louth, Kildare, Donegal and Wexford, making SuperValu the largest retailer of Irish potatoes.

Commenting on the announcement, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu, said, “We are delighted to have the first field crop of Irish potatoes in SuperValu. Potatoes are an extremely important part of the Irish diet and with research telling us that consumers are returning to cooking from scratch, we expect 2011 to be a bumper year for the humble spud. Potatoes are a great value staple in the Irish diet and no one grows better potatoes than Irish farmer. SuperValu has a well-established and long-term commitment to supporting Irish food producers. This approach is at the heart of the SuperValu brand, and will continue to provide us with an enduring competitive advantage over our competitors.

In addition, SuperValu’s independent retail partners also sourced a significant amount of potatoes from local producers, as part of their commitment to local sourcing and supporting their local communities. This will amount to a further €9million worth of potatoes sales in 2011.

There is little doubt that the potato is still Ireland’s favourite vegetable and they offer a wide range of nutritional benefits. Potatoes are a rich source of energy, and are also naturally fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free, which are all excellent for reducing the risk of high blood pressure and strokes.

Potatoes offer an excellent source of nutrients, providing 21 per cent of the daily recommended amounts of Potassium, 12 per cent of Fibre, 45 per cent of Vitamin C, 10 per cent of Vitamin B6 and 4 grams of protein, while only containing 100 calories per 148g.

During 2010 Musgrave and the SuperValu brand made a significant contribution to the Irish economy and Irish suppliers with 75 per cent of all products purchased on behalf of all its retail partners, either produced or manufactured in Ireland. This represents total purchases from Irish suppliers in excess of €2.6 billion at retail level, serving to both create and protect Irish jobs and livelihoods and also sustain the Irish community.

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